Daniel’s Ridge Commandments

Violate these commandments at your own peril, for the Almighty Ridge will smite those who fail to respect it.

  1. Thou shalt be proficient and prepared to tow in windy conditions (eg: Checklists complete, no loose articles, belted in tight, emergency plan prepared, familiar with tow signals, etc.)
  2. Thou shalt test the ridge with a landing option in glide and your approach planned.
  3. Thou shalt not fly low and slow near a ridge (eg: < 150ft AGL AND < best glide speed).
  4. Thou shalt not drift downwind of the ridge band!
  5. Thou shalt not turn toward the ridge.
  6. Thou shalt s-turn until sufficiently above a ridge (min: 200ft AGL, 400ft better)
  7. Thou shalt turn nose low, coordinated, and with sufficient airspeed (eg: best glide speed).
  8. Thou shalt not fly into a box canyon.
  9. Thou shalt have a landing option in glide and approach planned at every moment when completing a transition to another ridge.
  10. When approaching an unlandable area, thou shalt reassess the conditions and establish your landing options/approaches ahead and behind you.
  11. Thou shalt not fly on the downwind (lee) side of the ridge!
  12. Thou shalt respect the right of way rules: Right wing to the ridge has the right of way.
  13. Thou shalt be proficient and prepared to land in windy conditions. Maintain extra altitude and airspeed during approach/landing. (eg: +200ft above IP, +15-20 knots in the pattern, turn final 100-200ft higher and land long down the runway if practicable.)

And if you’re flying at a site that requires soaring back to your airport:

Thou shalt establish and maintain a minimum margin to return to the airport (eg: Blairstown – 2400ft in a 1-26).


Note that these margins are provided as ballparks and may need to be adjusted for a given ridge site, sailplane, conditions, and the experience of the ridge pilot.

2 Replies to “Daniel’s Ridge Commandments”

  1. Sorry, but the first commandment has to be:

    Thou shall accept the joys and risks bestowed by the Almighty Creator and fly the ridges of this world He provided with elation, realizing each flight is different and unique, therefore, infinitely rare pocessing infinite value.


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